Have you ever heard of the impostor syndrome?
It is that condition in which you always feel inadequate and not worthy, despite the objective evidence and the recognition you receive from the outside.
On the contrary: the more the others praise you, the more you feel the fear of being “unmasked.
If you have recognized any characteristic that sounds familiar to you, welcome to the club: there is an impostor who also lives within you.
Don’t worry: it’s less severe than it seems. The good news is that only people with a robust introspective capacity suffer from this syndrome.
What would it be like? Why is it good news? You are a person who knows how to use mistakes as tools for growth.
Only the incompetent are immune to it.
My suggestions for living together peacefully with the impostor inside you:
Give your critical voice a face
If your impostor manifests himself as an annoying little voice that tends to denigrate you, give this voice a body, a name.
Is he a man or a woman? How old is he? Be careful in imagining your impostor. If you are a creative type, you can also draw it or paint it.
In this way, its “devaluing effectiveness” will be weakened and, sooner or later, you will be able to silence that little voice.
It is an exercise I often give to my coachees.
Keep a notebook of successes
Even if it seems incredible to you, when you achieve success, at work or in your private life, it is never a coincidence.
Tracing the entire path, including the failures, that led you to reach the goal is an excellent reminder and testifies to the efforts you have made to get there.
If you are afraid of not being up to a role, a task, a job that has been entrusted to you, take 5 minutes and then focus on how you can fill in the gaps you feel you have.
In most cases, enrolling in a course or getting help from an experienced friend can be a good compromise and will give the imposter a good shot.
Not to mention the fact that studying to learn new things improves Happiness.
Call a trusted friend
Talking to others about one’s inner torments often turns out to be a smart choice: it helps to resize what tends to magnify.
My advice is to go to a friend who doesn’t mind having to slap you (metaphorically, of course).
You can be sure of his sincerity, and you can trust him if he tells you that you are prey to unmotivated paranoia.
Wait for it to pass
Ok, let’s say that your impostor is resistant to any war strategy.
What you can do is to wait for the acute attack of the syndrome to decrease its intensity.
In the meantime, lock yourself in the house, don’t send compromising e-mails, don’t make any decisions.
This is not the right time to resign from work, or to refuse a promotion.